Canal Trails Aim To Stimulate Tourism, Local Business

May 18, 2006

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) today announced his support for a partnership between The New York State Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails New York. The two organizations have set out to revitalize local business through the growing number of Canalway Trail bicycle tourists.

Earlier this week, roundtable discussions were held in parts of New York state to focus on how to attract and profit from bike tourists along the Canal. The goal of the roundtables is to help businesses and communities along the Canal corridor to bring in bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts thereby increasing their share of economic benefits from the Canalway Trail.

“Tourism plays an important role in the success of our economy,” said Hawley. “The Canal did wonders for this state’s economy generations ago, and today, we are in a position to once again reap the benefits of this amazing resource.”

Studies have shown that bicycle and other outdoor tourists come from high-income households who typically spend between $100 and $300 per day, and will travel significant distances to regions offering a good mix of cycling, attractions, and services.

With more than 245 miles of trail constructed, the Erie Canalway Trail is nearly two-thirds complete. The trail will eventually encompass more than 348 miles of contiguous multi-use trail, connecting Lake Erie and the City of Buffalo to the Hudson River. When completed in 2009, the trail will be the longest multi-use recreational trail in the U.S.

“I am proud to join the Canal Corporation in urging the promotion of bicycle tourism along our Canal trails,” said Hawley. “Our community, local businesses, and tourism will benefit greatly from cooperative efforts targeted at utilizing the Canal to its fullest.”